December 16, 2009

Sine Language – episode 121

Yay! Got another ep out the door before the eyar escaped from me!
This week, just tidying up some loose ends.
A while back, JR sent us a link about the Schwartz Engineering Laser microphone. That link has now been revised.
Someone also sent in a link to the Waves Vocal Rider, which at the time I received the e-mail was still in development.
It is now a released product, and you can check it on the Waves site here. (Now that the podcast is edited and mixed, I discover that I covered this on the last episode! D’oh!)
Bomar wrote in asking about ID3 tags, artwork and metadata.
I use MP3 Tag Studio almost exclusively.
He also asked about the chipmunk effect and how to avoid it.
Plus he mentioned this article about shockwaves and how they can be photographed.
Also, if you are interested in picking up one of my Bruce Williams Photography 2010 calendars, please check ‘em out here!


October 18, 2009

Sine Language – episode 120

In episode 120, some thanks to those people who have made donations via the button on the front page of audio2u.com,
a couple of links to look at:
JR sent in this link to a laser microphone,
and somebody (apologies for not taking note of who sent this in) advised me of the forthcoming Waves Vocal Rider plugin.
Then, it’s on to a cotinuation of the discussion of vocal recording and processing methodoligies.


September 13, 2009

Sine Language – episode 119

This week, Jim Addie hits us with “War and Peace – part 2″ on the way dynamic volume adjustments are made on playback in home theatre receivers,
and Ernie asked if I could put together some thoughts on recording and processing the voice, so consider this the first part of a 2 or 3 part series on that.
Jim also provided a link to the Orban processor used for real time loudness adjustment for TV broadcast.


May 3, 2009

Sine Language – episode 111

This week, an apology to Jay for incorrectly identifying him as the author of the e-mail I read out in ep 110,
Jim Weishorn wants to discuss dynamics some more (that’ll have to wait),
a query from Steve Riekeberg at Geek Cred on the voice track processing I use in post-production (see notes at the end of this post),
Mike Wills pointed out the holophone 5.1 microphone,
a couple of people suggested the ‘limited dynamic range’ modes in home AV receivers to combat the wildly varying volume in movies,
Jim Weishorn mentioned this article on using multiple reverbs,
MMIH chimed in with some further input on movie soundtrack mixes, DVD audio, centre speakers etc, including a link to this article from Dolby on setting up home theatre,
Justin confirmed that sound travels FASTER in WARMER air,
plus I discuss the different types of reverbs (plate, spring, digital, convolution).
Oh, and the Speakerphone plugin that MMIH mentioned is made by Audioease.

And finally, those voice settings I supplied to Steve:

Reverb.

Reverb time: 800-1000ms
Initial delay: ~30ms
Diffusion: ~75%
Mix: 95% dry, 5% wet (this is the critical one… most people go overboard on the wet signal!)

Chorus.

Voices: 2
Spread: Wide
Initial delay: 15ms
Pitch: pretty close to neutral (ie don’t shift the voices up or down)


April 5, 2009

Sine Language – episode 109

Filed under: !Podcasts,Delay,Ear,Microphone,Panning,Sine Language — Bruce Williams @ 12:15

In ep 109, a quick plug for iStockPhoto who are now selling user-generated audio clips.
For those of you with a love of recording outdoor sounds, this could be a nice way to turn your hobby into some extra cash.
Worth checking out at the very least.
Then, a lengthy e-mail from Jim Addie answering Scott’s earlier query about panning and delay,
some feedback from Slau about ribbon mics,
plus another shoutout for Stav’s book, Mixing with your mind… specifically in relation to Stav’s theory of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ microphones and sound sources.


March 8, 2009

Sine Language – episode 107

In episode 107, Rob Scalise gets on my soapbox about the potential dangers of prolonged use of headphones.
My man in Hollywood got back to us with answers to Jay’s questions from ep 106 re: movie audio.
Ernie wrote and mentioned that he prefers my AKG C3000 to my R84. He also commented on previous assertions that my podcasts were distorted, and asked about recording nature sounds with field recorders and what would be the best way to approach it.
This led me off on a discussion of how it’s not JUST the microphone which influences our perception of the recorded sound, but that the mic preamp, plus any outboard gear etc etc also play a big role.
Which then led me off an a train of thought related to Slau’s latest podcast episode where he did a shootout between a whole bunch of large diaphragm condensor mics.


February 15, 2009

Sine Language – episode 105

We’re back!
The new studio, whilst not complete, is certainly functional.
So, this ep begins with a bit of a chat regarding what the last 6-8 weeks has entailed.

Then into the meat of it:
An interview with Nick Dika (Product Manager and PR guru for Izotope) about the just released version 4 of their great mastering plugin, Ozone.
If you are interested, they have a fully-functonal 21 day trial version available for download.
Also, make sure you read the pdf on the mastering process.

Then, it’s on to some e-mail, including a lengthy one from Jim Addie about the nature of VU meters, and the benefits of having a fast-attack-fast-release compressor early in your mixdown chain….
This is rather timely, as I have recently read a piece by Mike Stavrou espousing a technique which is almost identical… and which challenges everything I have always believed (and subsequently advised my listeners) regarding dynamics.

Then another e-mail, this time from another Jim, asking about:
a. external plugin processing cards (like the TC Powercore, SSL Duende and UAD-2)
b. third octave pink noise mp3 files, and
c. audio over gigabit ethernet.

And finally, an e-mail from Ron Eastwood asking about USB turntables and cassette decks,
the legal mumbo-jumbo you hear at the end of radio commercials,
plus some tips for me on geography!

p5rn7vb

December 21, 2008

Sine Language – episode 104

Filed under: !Podcasts,Home theatre,Microphone,Monitoring,Sine Language,Speaker — Bruce Williams @ 14:02

In episode 104, some more from Bomar on the microphones that can hear the footsteps of an ant… or in this case, the rhythmic drumming of the legs of a spider during a mating ritual.
The university which carried out this experiment is here.
Then, I received a lengthy e-mail from Jim Addie (he of not only Moving Bits Productions fame, but also Platinum Home Theaters fame).
Jim goes into great detail on speaker choice, placement, and calibration.


December 11, 2008

A little something extra on wireless mics…

Filed under: Facebook,Microphone,Sine Language,Wireless — Bruce Williams @ 10:51

Rhys Hale kindly posted the following on the audio2u Facebook group this morning…

SL 103 – Wireless Mics
Just as a quick follow up to ep103 of Sine Language’s discussion on buying wireless mics, Shure have a great article on “Selection and operation of wireless microphones
Enjoy!

Thanks Rhys!


December 7, 2008

Sine Language – episode 103

In ep 103, a continuation of the discussion on home theatre,
Bomar asked about why I use Lame (which I use in conjunction with Speex Multi frontend) for mp3 encoding,
plus he gave us some links for websites concerned with hearling loss:
deafness.about.com
digital recordings
University of NSW
jimmyr (link 1)
jimmyr (link 2)

and Tim Cumings was after some advice on how to mic up his computer user’s group monthly meetings.


October 12, 2008

Sine Language – episode 099

This week, an answer for Bomar who thought he heard distortion in episode 98,
another mic comparison, this time between the R84 and my AKG C3000,
Jim Addie wrote in with detailed definitions of DC offset and wave asymmetry,
plus a reminder about a great thread on PSW about digital recording levels.

Also mentioned, the Shure SM81, and Rycote wind socks.


October 5, 2008

Sine Language – episode 098

This week, a ton of e-mail to answer from the last month or so,
including some reminiscing about the transition from analogue to digital within the radio industry through the late ’80′s and early ’90′s,
Ron Eastwood tried recording quasi-binaural on a boom box,
Jim Addie sent in a link to an interesting article on the merits, or lack thereof, of recording at higher sample rates and longer wordlengths (when I recorded this episode, I commented that I hadn’t read the entire article. I now have, and have the feeling that at some point in the past, I’ve been pointed to it, and have actually read it. Still, it was good to read it again!),
Greg Andreson (who is all “Bruced” out) wrote to tell me about his Zooms (the H2 and the H4!) and how much he likes them, and to comment on the wildly different standards of audio production that exist within the podcaster community,
and Pascal asked about sidechain compression.
One free VST plugin that I know of which does sidechain compression is Sidekick.
And finally, a bit of a chat about what is in store for episode 100.


August 31, 2008

Building the pod – episode 125

This week, a bunch of listener e-mails to answer.
First up, we heard from Bomar in France. After editing and mixing this episode, it occurred to me that this really should have been in Sine Language rather than BTP… oh well, sue me!
Bomar mentioned (among other things), a microphone which is alledgedly capable of picking up the sound of an ant’s footsteps.
Unfortunately, the site doesn’t appear to have any audio samples of this awesome feat.
Mmmmmm, sorry Bomar, but please forgive my scepticism! :)
Bomar went on to talk about field recorders, which led to a discussion on ‘auto gain control’ circuits (and why I don’t like them).

Next up, I received an e-mail from Ken at Bear Creek Studios who alerted me to a piece of software called Mediasweeper.
This looks really nifty, although I do need to spend some more time with it.
What it is designed to do is to look at your Audition .ses files and show you a list of which assets (read: wav files, mp3′s, avi’s, whatever) are referenced by the session file, and then allow you to either move all those files, or delete any wavs in the project folder which are NOT referenced by the session file!
If it does as promised, this will be a God-send!
Unfortunately, there’s no help file with it.
When I’ve spent some more time with it, I’ll report back.

Then, Wayne Montle wrote to tell me about Pamela, a piece of software which sits in between Skype and your DAW of choice.
What it does is allow you to split your outgoing audio (your voice) and your incoming audio (the person you’re talking to) into a left/right stereo signal so that you can later edit your Skype call with split tracks.
For those with soundcards which don’t offer that flexibility natively, this could be a huge blessing.
Thanks for the tip, Wayne.

Finally, I received an e-mail from Patrique Osborne who was concerned that I was advocating the growing of marijuana in episode 124!
I had a good laugh at this.


August 3, 2008

Sine Language – episode 094

This week, an e-mail from Steve Mayfield regarding the Tascam US122L usb interface.
Quite a decent looking portable audio interface which might suit those wishing to record direct to a laptop.

* 2 XLR mic inputs with phantom power
* 2 analog line inputs (1 switchable to high impedance for use with guitars, basses, etc.)
* 1 MIDI input, 1 MIDI output
* USB 2.0 equipped (also supports USB 1.1)
* Up to 96kHz/24-bit for high quality recordings
* Zero-latency hardware monitoring
* Headphone/level control
* Bus powered for use with any PC or Mac, including laptops

Also, what’s happening with that hand-held field recorder shootout?

E. Bernhard Warg sent in another demonstation of the Coles 4104 Lip mic in action.

Plus, my dramas trying to get get a PS3, an Onkyo home theatre amp and a Sony Bravia talking and playing nicely together.
And for those interested in home theatre stuff, some reading material for ya!

HDMI and Blu-Ray

Progressive scan

Interlaced scanning

Sony Bravia XBR 40″ LCD


June 29, 2008

Sine Language – episode 092

Hold on to your hats, people…
In episode 92, a listener (who wishes to remain anonymous) commented on the possibility of hearing damage inflicted by driving with the windows down, and the possibility of same being caused from riding your pushbike in busy traffic. The earplugs he’s using while riding are these.
Of course, my regular listeners know that I love my Sennheiser CX300′s… damn, I oughtta be on commission!
And that led to a discussion of noise-isolating vs noise-cancelling earbuds and headphones.
All of which led me to speculate on telephone handsets and whether or not they do us more harm than good.

Then, Jim Wesihorn checked in with news of a new pdf from the good folks at Izotope (makers of the VST/DirectX Ozone mastering plugin).
Seems they’ve turned out a whopping great 75 page document on audio restoration.
Going to have to check that out some time soon!
Thanks Jim!

Then, Steve Mayfield sent me a link about a dummy head binaural mic for your video camera!
Crazy looking thing.
One would hope it works well given the price tag!

Another long time listener who wishes to remain anonymous wrote to assure me that no, there is no distorion in my podcasts!
Phew! What a relief!
I didn’t think there was, mind you.
:)

He also went on to provide some interesting real-world feedback on sample rate conversion.

Then, Matt sent me this screen shot of the Pro Tools manual where apparently, even Digidesign doesn’t know the difference between “bit rate” and “bit resolution”.
Why do I feel like I’m fighting an up hill battle here? :)

Pro Tools manual

Then, Luke asked about vocal training.
I suggested googling some of these words:
‘voice’, ‘vocal’, ‘coach’, ‘training’, ‘tuition’, ‘diction’, ‘eloqution’, plus your local area
or check your local phone book.

Next, E. Bernhard Warg sent me an mp3 of a shoot out between a Coles 4104 ribbon lip mic and a standard lav mic, with regard to ambient noise suppression.

Then, Jim Addie sent in some great information on how the Red Book standard was established.

And finally, there were some listener comments on audio2u about my disaster last week.

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